Gary E. Stevenson, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke at the Jan. 14 Devotional at the Marriott Center.
Bishop Stevenson began the devotional with a quote that would guide the rest of his talk. “And with all thy getting, get understanding,” he said.
This short but powerful quote hangs above the library entrance at Bishop Stevenson’s alma mater, Utah State University. He used this quote to explain that as we trust in the Lord, a greater understanding from Him comes to our hearts, rather than our own understanding that comes to our heads.
“I loved the quote that he repeated many times and how he related it to gaining not just temporal knowledge, but also learning the things God would have us learn,” said Juliana Brassfield, a junior studying elementary education.
Bishop Stevenson gave an example of Lucy Mack Smith when she helped move the Saints across Lake Erie on their journey to the West. He explained the struggles and trials the Saints faced, but with Sister Smith’s faith and encouragement, the journey continued successfully. This faith was due to Sister Smith leaning not on her understanding but on the understanding of the Lord.
“I have personally observed the heartbreak and personal havoc brought upon those whose focus is on the worldly getting and not the Lord’s understanding,” Bishop Stevenson said. “It seems that those who lean unto their own understanding, rely on the arm of the flesh, are more likely to develop a disproportion of focus, or obsession, almost, for material gain, prestige, power and position.”
Bishop Stevenson later shifted the focus of his address onto how this principle can be applied to students’ lives as well.
“I love how Bishop Stevenson emphasized the importance of having faith and trusting in the Lord instead of leaning not into our own understanding,” said Cristina McLennan, a junior studying recreational therapy. “Even though learning is important, trusting in the the Lord will bring us the most happiness in life.”
Bishop Stevenson said keeping the “getting” in accordance with scripture understanding will “temper your temporal appetite,” allowing more productivity as members of society and the Church. He encouraged students to trust in the Lord and to rely on the Lord.
Bishop Stevenson ended his addressl by saying, “I have great expectations for each of you, and so does the Lord.”
The next university Devotional will be given at the Marriott Center by Jonathon Sandberg on Jan. 21 at 11:05 a.m.